Kindergarten and a New Chapter in the Journey of Life
- Kindergarten Prep
Information for early childhood educators and parents.
First Day of School
Summer vacation for students and teachers has come to a close here in Western North Carolina. School began this Monday for all those who attend public schools. For my grandson, Colton, a new chapter in his life is now beginning. He has joined the group of new classmates at Atkinson Elementary in Kindergarten. New duds, faces all clean, big book bags and cool lunch boxes they look so grown up as I saw them arriving on this auspicious first day via a photo taken by my daughter in law.
Future doctors, lawyers or maybe one day a scientist or a minister; maybe even President of the United States of America or how about being the best fireman, helicopter pilot and even a barber just like Colton's dad or a nurse like his mother. The road is open to a plethora of possibilities and the sky is the limit for the dreams which often come true but all begin with that first day of education in kindergarten. I know for Colton's mother and dad, this new chapter, although exciting, is bittersweet. It is always hard for parents to simply let go of their baby giving way to the growing up process.
I cannot help but to remember when our first son began kindergarten and all the feelings and emotions that we felt. For us, it meant our baby would now be separated from us a good part of each day.He would now become accountable for a whole new set of rules that would govern his life given by strangers, the ones he was taught to have no interaction and never to speak. He would be integrated with so many unfamiliar faces and people he didn't know. Moreover, he would not have us close by to pick him up and kiss away the hurts and boo boo's should he have an accident and God forbid another child should scratch, kick, bite or pull hair!
Our worries were normal I think but in truth, over reactive and senseless. As it turned out, our son loved the change and had little or no trouble adjusting to his kindergarten class and the world of education. He soon had a group of new friends which he enjoyed playing and learning. He also found his teachers after a few days were no longer strangers to fear but to trust. The school was several miles away from our home and riding a school bus would become a daily routine.The bus stop was right in front of our house and kids from our neighborhood boarded right in front of our house. He loved riding the big old yellow taxi and soon developed a friendship with the driver who knew each child by name.The next few years saw our other two sons also have their first day of school and by then it was old hat although still not easy for mama and daddy.Our grandson will be no different and will soon adjust to being a school boy.
Kindergarten is a milestone in every child's life and should be a positive experience. There are some things we can do to prepare our kids and grand kids for this new experience. Teaching them to share toys and interact with others is very important. Involve you children in activities or sports where they will learn how to not only share but contribute and become a team player. Read, read, read to them. Take advantage of the public library and free programs such as summer reading programs which oftentimes reward children for their accomplishments. Read to your children and grandchildren and begin to teach them their ABC's, colors, numbers etc. Children have quick minds and will grasp more than you might think. Reward them when they learn and always reinforce your love and build their self esteem.